Monday, March 10, 2014

1989 Volkswagen Fox Station Wagon

The Fox is not a car you often see in this condition.

The Fox was available in 3 different body styles; a 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan and, from 1988 through 1990, a 2-door station wagon. The body was designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro.

Built by Volkswagen do Brasil, it was - from 1987 through 1993 in the US - VW's entry-level car. Other than sharing the name, the VW Fox was not related to the earlier Audi Fox. (Although, like the Audi Fox, the VW had a longitudinal engine configuration and the transmission used in both Foxes was the same.)

Creating an entry-level car is a tricky thing. Carmakers need to make money on the car, of course, but at the same time they don't want the car to devalue the entire brand. The Fox, in general, was slightly more expensive (rightly so) than the entry-level cars from Japan, which hindered sales. Making things more difficult for VW was the introduction - at the same time as the Fox - of the Yugo and Hyundai Excel, disposable cars that could be bought for the price of a used car. Fox sales were less than what VW had hoped for in North America. (I wonder how many former Yugo and Excel owners now wish that they had spent the extra money on a Fox? ;-) )

The stock Fox handled and rode nicely. It was not very fast, however. While there are few aftermarket performance parts available in the US for the Fox, VW fanatics have figured out ways (some simple, some complex) of getting better performance from a Fox. (There is a very good webpage about that here.)

This car is a 50,000 mile Fox wagon. The seller doesn't give a lot of info, but says it "runs great." Based on the pictures, it is stock and appears to be in pretty spectacular condition. The paint is said to be original.

The asking price is $4200.00. That might seem a bit high at first glance, but of you start to think about what it would cost to bring a well-worn, rusty Fox to this condition, it becomes reasonable.

The Fox will never be as popular as a similar era Rabbit or Jetta. But, if you're looking for something a little different - a car that could be a daily driver and get some looks at a car show - this Fox is worth checking out.

Located in San Francisco, CA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.


bluetoes591 said...

That is a very nice Fox wagon, but there are actually more of them in this condition than you'd expect. Two similarly nice, but slightly higher mileage examples changed hands in the mid $3000s here in Vancouver last year. Prices, on wagons at least, seem to be on the rise.

Adam's Fox tuning guide is a bit out of date, aftermarket parts for Foxes with almost no exceptions are no longer available. There is however a small but dedicated, very knowledgeable and helpful group in the forum at VW Vortex.

As a Fox enthusiast, thanks for noticing that they still exist. :)

steve in podunk said...

$4200 seems crazy to me. The last one I had I paid $125 for it and put a cheap paint job on it and sold it for $1000 before I could vacuum it out ( but that was 15 years ago). I'm no fan of most VW's of the past 25 or so years (way too many problems) but the Fox was a pretty good car and the folks I sold them to didn't return to read me the riot soon after buying; a common occurrence with any other VW.